Tag Archive for: singing phonetics

Next Level Resonance Strategies – Singing Phonetics


Recording of the webinar “Voice Masters Live” by Philippe Hall from Singing Revealed on March 29, 2022.
Recording of the webinar Next Level Resonance Strategies in the Voice Masters Live series by Philippe Hall from Singing Revealed, on March 29, 2022.
Sprache: English


 

Next Level Resonance Strategies – Singing Phonetics

  • What are formants?
  • What are resonances?
  • Why are vowels dependent on pitch?
  • What is formant tuning?

Philippe Hall talks to Wolfgang Saus about vowels and their importance for resonance strategies.

Resonance is a cornerstone of any vocal technique. However, the relationship between vowels, resonances, formants, harmonics and pitch is a complex topic and often confusing.

Wolfgang Saus shows participants how to use a vowel resonance chart to see at a glance why some vowels work excellently at a particular pitch and others not at all. Participants learn how resonances can be controlled by tongue movements and how they can optimize their resonances by using the right vowel nuances. After the seminar, they will be able to deal confidently with the terms vowel, resonance and overtones.

Voice Disorders - a Focus of Clinical Speech Science (in German)

Currently FREE: Voice Disorders – a Focus of Clinical Speech Science

As the Federal Association of German Clinical Speech Scientists announced today, the jubilee volume on the occasion of the DBKS’s 25th anniversary, Voice Disorders – a Focus of Clinical Speech Science, is currently available free of charge in Open Access. “This is a reminiscence of our wonderful colleague and former DBKS board member Anke Bergt, who died far too early and who had acted as co-editor,” said the spokeswoman of the Department of Speech Science and Phonetics and director of the Institute of Music, Media and Speech Sciences, Prof. Dr. phil. habil. Susanne Voigt-Zimmermann.

I contributed a short text on the control of formants to the volume. You can read the volume online and download it as PDF.

→Voice Disorders – a Focus of Clinical Speech Science (in German)

Laughing woman holds her ears shut

A Melody Only Some Can Hear – Take the Hearing Test

This hearing test (it takes only 3:20 minutes) opens your hearing to a second listening level that is perceived by only about 5% of the musicians: The perception of overtones. This ability is essential for learning overtone singing. And it is a prerequisite for the practical implementation of singing phonetic and choral phonetics.

At the university hospital Heidelberg Dr. Peter Schneider and his working group found in 2004 that people perceive sounds differently, according to which half of the brain processes the sound. They developed the Heidelberg hearing test to find out whether someone perceives fundamental tones or overtones in a sound. →Here you can take the Heidelberg test

My hearing test is different. It tests whether someone recognizes more vowels or overtones in a sound. In the second part, it teaches how to shift the threshold between vowel and overtone perception in favor of overtones.

Saus’s Hearing Test

Listen to the first sound sample in a relaxed way. I sing a series of meaningless syllables on a single note. If you recognize a classic melody in it, then congratulations, you have a pronounced overtone hearing and belong to the 5% of people who have this perception spontaneously.

Sound sample 1

If you can’t hear the tune, don’t worry. At the end of the hearing test you will hear the overtones.

In the following sound examples, I will extract more and more sound information from the voice, which is interpreted by the brain as part of speech. Next, I sing the syllables by changing only the 2nd vocal formant. I hold the first one in a lower position, motionless. The syllables then only contain /ʉ/ sounds, the melody becomes clearer for some now.

Sound sample 2

If the tune’s clear now, congratulations. Here the melody is heard by 20-30%. Maybe you just suspect the melody and don’t know if you’re just imagining it. Trust the imagination. Your hearing picks up the melody. Only a filter in your consciousness says that the information is not important. Speech recognition is much more important.

I want to reveal the melody at this point: it is “Ode to Joy” by Ludwig van Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. In the next example I whistle it tonelessly. Thus your brain will learn better what to listen to. Listen to sound sample 3 and then to sound sample 2 afterwards.

Sound sample 3

Does it work better? If not, listen to the next sample.

In sound sample 4 I leave out the consonants. Now the Broca Centre, the brain region for speech recognition, has nothing left to do and passes the hearing attention on to other regions.

Sound sample 4

Now about 60-80% hear the melody clearly. If you don’t hear the melody here, you are probably classified as a fundamental listener in the Heidelberg test. This has nothing to do with musicality. You are in the company of some of the best flutists, percussionists and pianists.

In the next example I completely alienate the sound. I lower the third formant by two octaves with a special tongue position until it has the same frequency as the second. This results in a double resonance, which does not occur in the German language.

Sound sample 5

The technique is called overtone singing. The ear now lacks information from the familiar voice sound, and individual partial tones become so loud due to the double resonance that the brain separates the sounds and communicates them to the consciousness as two separate tones.

You will probably hear a flute-like melody together with the voice now. Overtone singing is an acoustic illusion. Because in reality you hear more than 70 partials. Physical reality and perception seldom coincide.

In the last example I walk the whole way backwards to the beginning. Try to keep the focus on the melody all the time. Listen to sound sample 6 more often, it trains the overtone hearing and makes you feel safer in the perception of the sound details.

Sound sample 6

Our reality is created within ourselves. And it can be changed.

Tag Archive for: singing phonetics

Conference on

PAS7 – International Physiology & Acoustics of Singing Conference

PAS7+

The PAS7+ conference promotes synergistic relationships between physiological and acoustical science, pedagogy, voice habilitation and vocal performance. Since the inception of the PAS conference series in 2002, leading voice researchers and pedagogues from around the globe have gathered to share their work. The outcomes of the conference yield several benefits: areas of singing in need of further examination are codified, collaborative relationships between scientists and practitioners are established, and objective vocal pedagogy is promoted.


Friday, 6th May 2022, 15:00 h

My, Wolfgang Saus’, contribution will be an oral presentation on my “Singing Phonetics Diagram – The Quantization of Sung Vowels”.


This presentation introduces a singing phonetics chart that helps singers match vowels with the strongest resonance, and that illustrates how resonance and vowel color depend on pitch.The diagram shows which vowel nuances produce resonance and which do not by visualizing how the partials of the voice are distributed differently in the acoustic-phonetic vowel triangle for each pitch. In discussions of vocal vowels, it can assist in separating subjective sensations, such as vowel and vocal feel, from measurable acoustic parameters, such as partials and resonant frequencies, and it can provide vocal educators with objective criteria for improving resonance. A new didactic approach is shown for controlling vocal tract resonance to within a semitone, and how this technique can be used, for example, to improve just intonation in ensemble singing.
Voice Masters Live 2022 - Philippe Hall, Guest Speaker Wolfgang Saus

[YouTube Live] Voice Masters – Philippe Hall & Wolfgang Saus on “Next Level Resonance Strategies – Singing Phonetics”

Next Level Resonance Strategies – Singing Phonetics

  • What are formants?
  • What are resonances?
  • Why are vowels dependent on pitch?
  • What is formant tuning?

Philippe Hall talks to Wolfgang Saus about vowels and their importance for resonance strategies.

Resonance is a cornerstone of any vocal technique. However, the relationship between vowels, resonances, formants, harmonics and pitch is a complex topic and often confusing.

Wolfgang Saus shows participants how to use a vowel resonance chart to see at a glance why some vowels work excellently at a particular pitch and others not at all. Participants learn how resonances can be controlled by tongue movements and how they can optimize their resonances by using the right vowel nuances. After the seminar, they will be able to deal confidently with the terms formant, resonance and overtones.

Those who would like to prepare themselves optimally for the seminar can take this exciting listening test in advance on the speaker’s website: https://www.oberton.org/en/hearing-test-saus/

Wolfgang Saus on Voice Masters

 

13. Internationale Stuttgarter Stimmtage

[Online + Präsenz] Gesangsphonetik Workshop – 13. Stuttgarter Stimmtage – mit Wolfgang Saus – 25.9.2021

13. Internationale Stuttgarter Stimmtage

Gesangsphonetik – Ein neuer Weg zum optimalen Vokal – Workshop mit Wolfgang Saus

Hybridveranstaltung Online und Präsenz

Tickets

Vokale sind entscheidend für die Klangqualität der Singstimme. Sie entstehen durch die Form des Vokaltrakts, die das Resonanzverhalten bestimmt. Hörbar werden sie durch die Wechselwirkung mit Schall. Ein neu entwickeltes Gesangsphonetik-Diagramm gibt eine Übersicht, wie Vokale, Harmonie und Resonanz sich in Abhängigkeit von der Tonhöhe verhalten. Es macht sichtbar, warum für jede Tonhöhe nur bestimmte Vokale „funktionieren“ und in welche Richtung Vokaltrakteinstellungen verändert werden müssen, um Vokale für unterschiedliche Singsituationen zu optimieren.

Programm Download PDF

Stuttgarter Stimmtage Programmheft Titelbild